We are over half of the way through January and if you have managed to stick to your New Year’s resolution to get fit then kudos to you. If you’ve already given up or haven’t even started yet, it’s never too late to get into the swing of things and make your way back down to the gym.
A lot of people are put off the idea of working out because they don’t want to embarrass themselves. There are a lot of super fit people doing seemingly impossible things with their bodies at the gym and that can be intimidating. Forget about them. I know it’s easier said than done, but you really have to. They are far too absorbed in themselves to be watching and judging you anyway.
Once you’re over your fear of other people, it’s time to start working out. Now, if it’s been a while since you worked out, you’re going to need to increase your fitness level gradually. If you go all out on day one you will probably hurt yourself and never step foot in a gym ever again.
So for all you fitness newbies out there, here are some ideal workouts to get you back on track.
To get started with cardio all you need to do is pick a cardio machine or simply embrace your local park. Walking, running, cycling and swimming are all excellent forms of cardio. In the gym, you can use a treadmill, cross-trainer, step machine, rowing machine or stationary bike. Start by working at a medium level of intensity for around 25 minutes. Try and do this three times a week and every week or two increase your time or intensity – or both!
When it comes to strength exercises, you should be aiming for three sets of about 12 repetitions each. For your legs, try squats and lunges and then move on to your abs and get in some crunches, leg lifts and plank. When it comes to your arms, shoulders and back, there are dozens of different exercises you can do using free weights and barbells. Do some research and find the best exercises to suit your personal health and fitness goals.
If you are new to the world of fitness then there is no better place to start than a zumba class. Zumba is low-intensity cardio that will increase your heart rate and make you sweat but won’t leave you feeling shattered. On top of that, it’s really fun! You’ll be taught a range of moves that combine dance with aerobics and you’ll have reggaeton, salsa, rumba or some other Latin American music pumping in the background.
A lot of people forget about stretching when they work out but this is seriously important. The last thing you want is aching muscles for the next few days after every workout. At the end of each session, take 5-10 minutes to stretch out every part of your body – even if you didn’t work on that part. Not only will this reduce the chance of you being in pain the next day but it will gradually increase your flexibility,